A while ago, some of you might remember, I posted a cyberpunk story called Killing Time OST. Just like my foray into steampunk, it is a story that forced itself into my brain and wouldn’t leave until I wrote it. Well this week, assassin Lorelei came back, urging me to finish the would-be chapter of her novel. So I did.
I wrote this real quick so there are bound to be mistakes though I took time to do a quick re-read. It’s not the only thing I have to write this week so…
You have the soundtrack of this chapter in the playlist at the bottom of this post. I suggest you hit play when Lorelei starts her music! 😉
For those of you who haven’t read the first part of Killing Time OST, I suggest you do. If you don’t have time, or if you read it but need a little brushing up of your memory, the gist of it is that Lorelei, an “old school” assassin, infiltrated a house protected by various technologically enhanced soldiers. She timed her plan to a specific soundtrack and so far, every thing is going fine. I’ll start this second half of the chapter with the last few lines from the first.
I hope you like it!
* * *
The master’s bedroom was empty. I cocked my hip, my turn of the millennium pistol and my head. In that order. As the song ended, I tapped the last bars on my hip with my gun. I filled my lungs with all the air they could hold and yelled.
“Honey, I’m home!” I stretched the “o” for good measure. Time to switch the song.
“I thought you were kidding when I read the plan!” resounded a masculine voice within my brain.
“Vexx!” I yelled. “Get oughta my brain!” He snickered. “I mean it! You’re messing my momentum and…”
“…pissing off an assassin may cause waking up to a dagger through the jugular. I read the fine print.” His sarcasm drove an angry sigh to growl in my throat before escaping into the now stirring house. Army boots stumped up the stairs at the end of the corridor leading to this bedroom. It would funnel the soldiers to my door.
I swung my pistol up in the air and caught it by the canon. I pushed the security in place; until my target was here the gun merely served as a club. I flipped a tranquilizer gun in my free hand. The first dummies would go to sleep and the rest would be Tasered. A jolt of pain fired in my brain and the first guard entered at the same time. Despite the suffering, I straightened and jabbed the tranqu. under his jaw.
“Vexx, your stupid hack causes backfires. It hurts like hell.”
The next guard walked in. I dodged a punch and extended to put him down. He barely winced when the drug hit him. He backhanded me forcefully and I rolled back, allowing another soldier to step in. Damn it! I hate when they’re boosted with nanoroids!
“You’re such a wuss.” Vexx replied to my previous comment, completely oblivious to the fact he’d be unconscious by now, was he staying at my spot. I spun and hit my attacker with the handle of my gun. A split eyebrow seemed proper reciprocation for bruising my face. Assassins didn’t really need nasty scars to prove their worth and I didn’t take kindly to people trying to ruin my figure. After a second blunt assault, the man finally collapsed.
“You’re such a geek.” I yelled as the remaining guard closed his huge arms around my body. To be fair, Vexx doesn’t have the physic of a geek at all but I didn’t have the time to go there with two more goons coming my way. Another one, further down the corridor, cocked a gun and triggered the alarm. Swell.
“Seriously, it can’t backfire.”
“It does. Now gimme my music before I’m dead.” Luckily, extendable Kevlar is quite slippery. I writhed out of the constricting bear hug, drugging another guy in the momentum. That one went down and a bullet flew by my ear. The gunman in the hall was apparently the daring type.
“The one you chose seems a bit slow.”
The three bulks of muscles on the ground complicated my navigation. I was losing ground. If they surrounded me, I was a goner.
“Damn it, Vexx!” My fury made him push play.
“Mortal Kombat, Metal remix by Rayshon,” confirmed the automated voice. Finally, the world made sense again. I knew this dance. I fell into the choreography of punches, dodges, kicks and tranqu. with the grace the lack of music robbed me of. Following the beat, I downed the guards one by one, moving out of the bullets’ way in time.
Nano-enhanced soldiers aimed perfectly but technology caused them to be flawed by design. They didn’t actually know how to shoot. Their chip did. If one timed his move precisely, one could thwart the techie stuff. It implied making a change of situation important enough to trigger a reevaluation of the events. That was what the music was for: I chose it according to the processing speed of the guys here.
I worked my way through the corridor, eventually downing everybody by the song’s end. My target would have begun evacuation by now. According to protocol, he would use the “secret” passage in the west wall to reach the helipad on the roof.
“I need to upgrade the security on your chip eventually. Someone else could hack it.” Vexx said as I Tasered the last man standing. I’d be sore in the morning.
“What could they do? Vexx me to death?”
“Broadcast white noise.”
“I like white noise.” I round-kicked the alarm. It shrieked a dying buzz. “It means the machine’s dead.” I held my pistol upright and clicked off the security. “I’m shutting up now.”
“You know, it’s actually better if you just think what you wanna say. When you talk out loud to it makes a weird echo.”
I adjusted my X-ray monocle over my dominant eye, the left one. I swept the hallways with my tranqu. gun in case some gorillas remained and progressed as silently as possible toward the west wall. No guards meant Mister Fancy Pants liked a thick escort. Based on the house’s payroll, there should be ten more nanotech lovers.
A look through the west wall confirmed my suspicion. I recognized my target by the metallic jaw, cheekbones and nose; the guy almost remodeled his whole face. I guess he could afford it, since he owned the company. Artificial rich guys.
The space within the wall was too narrow for the hired hand to provide the appropriate cover by surrounding their boss. They flanked him and progressed in line. Piece of cake.
I adjusted my aim. A guard’s head turned toward me. Crap. Predictable crap, but still.
I rolled to the closer door frame perpendicular to the guard’s position. He fired, guided by his one X-ray sight – probably included in his upgrade kit. The wall swallowed his armor-piercing plasma bullet. His action caused quite a ruckus in the line behind him. My window of opportunity narrowed fast.
“You have to pull out.” Vexx commented when bullets started flying.
“Never. Just let my next song through.”
“Now playing Shoot the Runner by Kasabian.”
I bobbed my head on the first bar, counting. In stressful situation, people always wanted to rush but I value pacing myself. It always saves my hide.
And five, six, seven, eight. Aim. Shoot. Roll. Flatten. Roll. I reached the next door frame on the sixth beat. My target’s body hit the floor on the seventh, a bullet in the left temple. Understanding that the wall didn’t keep me from firing at them, half the goons started breaking it down while the others kept firing at me.
“Shoot the runner! Shoot, shoot the runner!” I sang along.
“You’re sick, Lorelei.”
I smiled and secured my guns in their holsters. I grabbed the small EMP device around my wrist and turned it on. My chip automatically powered down, taking the music with it. I turned in the hallway and sprinted toward the soon-to-be dust wall. I reached it before the first guy took his shot. By then, he didn’t know how to aim anymore, thanks to my EMP killing his chip. Same went for the muscle enhancers, effectively slowing down the wall’s destruction.
Not that I needed a lot of time.
Angling to run alongside the wall, I stepped on it long enough to stick my signature on the ceiling: a dried nightshade within protective plastic. Seconds later, my EMP charge was exhausted. My music resumed and so did the threat of the bullets.
I had no more reason to stick around. I broke into a sprint and dived through the window at the end of the corridor, shoulder first. It shattered under the force and I flew out the fifth story. I landed on top of a fluffy decorated car that was part of the parade.
That’s how careful planning and execution helps an assassin make a name for herself.
“Yeah right. Rub it in.” Vexx chimed.
“See you when I get home.” I answered. I vaulted off my improvised mattress. In the next alleyway, the sewer grate wasn’t quite in place, thanks to pre-murder prep. I pushed it aside and got underground. A fifteen minutes run and I was out of the woods.